Rachel Dunn – Book Journeys Author Interview Transcript – Aug. 11, 2016

Book Journeys Author Interview – Aug.11, 2016

 

Dr. Angela Lauria with Rachel Dunn, author of Better Videos: Stand Out. Be Seen. Create Clients.

 

It’s not about being perfect when you start, but it’s about starting.” ~Rachel Dunn

 

Angela:

Well, hey, everybody! That – welcome back to Book Journeys Radio, we have an amazing show for you today. I know, as a listener, you are probably thinking about writing a book or writing a second book, and every episode on the show, we focus on how somebody was able to cross the finish line and get their book done, but every once in a while we get a nice bonus tip, and this is definitely one of those shows. Today, we are featuring Rachel Dunn, she is the author of Better Videos: Stand Out. Be Seen. Create Clients, and so, if you are thinking about a book, for sure, one thing you will need to help promote your book is videos, so we’re gonna get you some book writing tips today, and then some bonus video tips. Rachel, thanks so much for being with us!

 

Rachel:

Hi, Angela! Thank you so much for having me! Excited to be here!

 

Angela:

Great to have you. So, let’s start off by sharing with everybody a – about your book. Tell us about Better Videos, what’s it – what’s it about and why did you write it?

 

Rachel:

Okay, so, Better Videos is – is a book – is a how-to book about how to create videos, but it’s more than that, it’s really diving into my personal story to help inspire those people that really wanna make a difference with video, and as marketing’s changing and evolving, it’s really important to have a lot of depth in your videos, … authentic and be confident, so, I was – really wanted to help those people that were struggling with their confidence and – and all the techie side, also the inspirational story side. So, yeah, that’s what the book is about.

 

Angela:

And let’s tell people a little bit – so, Better Videos is available on Amazon and you can learn more about Rachel at girldirector.tv, can you … a little bit about – background about you, how was it that you came to have expertise about videos?

 

Rachel:

Okay, that’s a good question. For me, I just – I was one of those lucky people that knew, exactly, what they wanted to do from the age fifteen, so, I wanted to be a music video director and I wanted to – to direct videos, and I just – I knew, from fifteen, so that was my – … I was on my path, and I knew and I was just really focused and so, in my twenties, I had my own production company, me directing so of biggest – Australia’s biggest stars back then, I made them videos, so I did music videos, I had my production company, I was just … full time in television, in all the different TV stations, so I really wanted to learn from the ground up how to be a director, so that I could communicate, best way, to my crew and to everyone else out there, so that’s really – it’s been a long journey, but I was ha – ups and downs and really, now, I love it, because we inspire and help people ‘round the world to create better video content and also help them with the techie side and to make, whether it’s a – a photographer stepping in to make videos, or whether it’s business going to make videos and make a difference, we support, so I just – I’m – out of everything I’ve done, I must say has just been the most inspirational part of the video side of the business, so, yeah!

 

Angela:

Can you talk a little bit about the types of clients that you work with, why are they making videos, and what exactly do they need your help with?

 

Rachel:

Well, we work with – range of different people, and because of the Girl Directors name, a lot of people say, “You know, you just work with women,” and we actually work with men as well, and it’s really about the values people ha – are passionate about making a difference, that generally entrepreneurs or their – business owners that want to learn, themselves, and they wanna create online programs with video, or they really wanted to create marketing content with video that has a lot of depth, and we got clients that – that are doing things in India, to make a difference, we’ve got … clients in New York that are – that are making a difference, and they’re all different video types as well, so we’re really – to help them ground themselves, to have a really funky, edgy look online, so it’s really – it’s a diverse range of clients, but fundamentally, it all – they’ve got big hearts, they’re passionate, and they all really wanna do make a difference.

 

Angela:

I love that, obviously, that’s exactly aligned with the type of people I like helping the most as well.

 

Rachel:

Yup.

 

Angela:

When you say they are all different types of videos, can you give us a sense of wha – what do you mean by that? What are some examples of types of videos?

 

Rachel:

Okay, well, there’s – there’s lead generation, which is fundamental for any business, it’s about creating leads and it’s about communicating with the audience out there, so, there’s five-day sequences, there’s all different sequences to build trust with an audience, and then there’s the engagement video, so whether that’s a video blog, whether it’s a – a mini-documentary, whether it’s just being able to bl – to – excuse me, to do live Facebook videos in a good way, where you will … and you’re using a tripod, so it really is …. So, for example, there’s also education videos, so lots of how-to videos, so, for instance, we’ve got a client that’s doing videos for their garden, so, teaching people how to … dig out a veggie patch and completely use organic soil and things like that, so it really depends on the business type. Does that make sense?

 

Angela:

Yeah, absolutely. And so, what are some of the problems that people have with videos that you wanted to address in the book? You talked a little bit, in the beginning, about confidence, how does that play into it, and then, what are some of the other problems you address in the book?

 

Rachel:

Well, confidence is a big thing, and for me, being a director, it was something I really struggled with, myself, and it was – it was crippling. And it was one of those things that I just would pull this weird face every time a camera would be around me, and I felt fine directing people, and I directed so many people onscreen to look perfect, but when it came to me being on camera, I just did – I wasn’t happy with my image. So, it took me awhile to get over that, and that’s why I’m really passionate about helping people overcome that, because I knew  – I went off to make a documentary around – about elephants, and I found that … I wanted to be present for them on camera, because they couldn’t speak, so … it was about me finding a passion or a cause I was really passionate about to then step through that confidence barrier. And only then I realized how much I wanted to help other people with that, because so many people don’t look comfortable, or they feel like they’re judged or they’re not beautiful enough, or they – they feel too old – have a lot of people that feel that they don’t look, on camera, the way that they feel inside.

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Rachel:

And I explain – … I explain, in the book, that it’s about the angles, it’s about the lighting, we all look terrible if we have a camera underneath our chin, or if we have downlights in a room that will bring out all the shadows and the dark lines on our face, so it’s really – it’s about looking at what looks good for you, and that’s different for every person.

 

Angela:

So, do you think that making better videos is something that entrepreneurs can do on their own, or do you need … a studio and expensive equipment, because we see so many videos these days, so I’m sure you have some – some pet peeves of things people do wrong, but do you think it’s possible to – to do on your own, and if so, what do you think … the bare minimum commitment you need to make, what do you need to have in order to do it well enough on your own to make it work in a way for your …?

 

Rachel:

… it’s a good question, I find that depends on the kind of person you are, it really does. If you’re extremely busy and you don’t have the time, then it’s important that you know how to outsource well and have a really good crew, but also the other directs them, so that’s to the one type of person, and the other type of person, I find, is the more the technology is changing and evolving, it’s an – also important for you to learn it yourself, because then, you make a better director, you also can throw things together quickly, and the other to make better videos for yourself and your brand and be able to communicate your message clearer, so I find that a lot of the Facebook live videos are all over the place, … they don’t have a tripod, they’re not lit well, and I just don’t even watch them, because they’re – they just – they’re not presenting very well and they’re not focused –

 

Angela:

Mm-hm!

 

Rachel:

– but if you’ve got some simple things, and a lot – you’ve got simp – a sound makes the video … very soundlike and a trip – the three things to make your videos better. And the thing is, that I always say to people is, when you master anything, that takes time and you need to practice, and it’s not about being scared of doing it, it’s about having a childlike curiosity, but also realize that every video that you create is gonna get better and better.

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Rachel:

And as long as you’re practicing – and that’s what I love about mentoring, is that people showing their videos, and I go, “Right, this is how you improve it for the next time, this is what I’ll do,” and it’s not about being perfect when you start, but it’s about starting.

 

Angela:

Right. Well, I think that same thing happens, when writing a book is, people get so committed to this vision of some perfect outcome, that it’s even hard to get started, and I know with videos, there’s probably a lot of people who have been talking about making a video series or making a documentary or adding videos to their website and they just don’t get around to it because they’re afraid it won’t be good enough.

 

Rachel:

Exactly. That’s the biggest – the biggest thing, and I just say, “Look, it’s – it’s fine.” There’s a lot of videos out there that – it’s the beginning. People like to see your trends – transition, too, when you start to when you are more polished.

 

Angela:

Mm.

 

Rachel:

It’s so much journey. They see you when you began, and – and then, they can relate to it, too, so it’s important to take that in mind, and think about who it is you’re even talking to and will they relate to you, as well, if you’re too polished at the beginning.

 

Angela:

I love it. Well, let’s talk a little bit about your book journey. Tell me how you got the idea to write a book?

 

Rachel:

Mmmm. Well, it’s funny because I never really thought about writing a book before I met you, and I just – I think, because I really resonated with your making a difference, I just went, “Oh, my God, yes! That is the missing page for me.” Writing a book hasn’t really occurred to me but everyone around me wanted to write a book, and I thought, “No, not gonna write a book, there’s so many books.” But it’s funny, as soon as we started talking, and I just thought, “Oh, my God, this is how I can reach more people,” it’s around – it’s a – it’s a great thing that they can go online and learn different things with, it was just – yeah, as soon as I met you and talked, it just clicked, that that’s something that’s going to help people more.

 

Angela:

I love that. So, now that you’ve done it, and you got some hindsight, is there any advice that you would give to your younger self, or to somebody who – else is thinking about writing a book? What do you wish you knew before you wrote your book?

 

Rachel:

I really – I think everything happened, really, exactly how I wanted it to, it just – if somebody’s thinking about doing a book, I’m learning more and more about your intuition, and the more that you really follow your intuition, it’s hard. It – it’s the best road map you – you have, and the longer you procrastinate and the longer you take to actually step in and do it, … opportunity might pass. It might be that … there’s no spaces, it might be that the person that you wanted to do it with doesn’t ha – you know what I mean?

 

Angela:

Yeah.

 

Rachel:

There’s just so many things that could get in the way. But if you’re taking action and you do it when you’re guided to do it, it just works out, and that’s all you’ve gotta trust, and the more that you can trust your instincts, and the more I’ve – I’m learning about that side of it, and to go a bit “Woowee!” for a second. But it – it is really important to follow that, because it – it’s the best roadmap that we have.

 

Angela:

I love that. Have you read Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert?

 

Rachel:

No. No, I haven’t.

 

Angela:

It’s so fascinating, so – I’m totally in love with this book, but what she talks about is having a creative idea … pass you by and move on into the next person, that if you don’t trust your intuition about time and do the project, … if it’s meant to be done, somebody else will do it in their way, but it’ll just –

 

Rachel:

Yes!

 

Angela:

– it’ll just fade out, for whatever reason, i – it won’t be yours anymore.

 

Rachel:

Yeah! I absolutely agree with that, hundred percent, and everything I’ve done, w – whether it be that documentary or what … do, or anything, it’s – I take up and I write, “Okay, is this – am I passionate about it or am I not?” And … the thing is, you find a way to make it work, if you really want something, then you will make it – you’ll find a way to make it work.

 

Angela:

Mm. Totally. So – so, you wrote your book in three days, at one of our “Three Days to Done” events, can you talk about how that experience was for you, and I think it’s fair to say – hopefully, I’m not talking out of turn – but a lot of people say, “Well, I’m not a very good writer,” and I don’t think you think of yourself as a writer, … you’re a very visual person –

 

Rachel:

Yes!

 

Angela:

– and you spend more time behind the camera than behind the keyboard, and so, how was writing a book in three days, particularly when you don’t … identify as a writer for the craft of writing?

 

Rachel:

Yeah, it’s – i – it’s – it’s – … because I – I kn – I know what kind of person I am, and I’m really glad I followed my instincts there, and I just thought, “You know what? I know that I have so much content inside me that, in one way or another, it’s gonna spring up,” and I just have to trust in your process, and I just … went with knowing this heap of content in my head, I just – I knew that the right book would come out, and I think I really liked – I like things to be done fast, quickly and – and just tap in to whatever’s there, and at times, it was … a lot … and things, but it – I just loved the whole experience. I found the – the sections of writing in – in different stages, right? I loved – the p – hardest part for me was afterwards, when I went to the reviewing stage, because that was where my partner, Michael, he actually helped me a lot, because I have narcolepsy and I go to sleep a lot, … all the time, I just drop asleep, but I have a nap today, and I found that, the more it was coming to the end of the – … the book, it brought up a lot of stuff, so I was wanting to sleep all the time.

 

Angela:

Mmm.

 

Rachel:

So, having Michael with me to read that, and having a partner support me in that was – was amazing, and so – but just having your editing staff do a lot of the – the grammar and things I’m not very good at, that just took a lot of the pressure off of me as well, so….

 

Angela:

I love that! I have –

 

Rachel:

… and it’s an excuse, if people don’t write because of that’s an excuse. Or a story.

 

Angela:

Yeah, because – … I think the – … so many of the stories that I get about why people haven’t finished their book are, “I’m not a very – I’m not a very good writer,” that one comes up a lot. “I’m not sure I have enough today,” and “I don’t have enough time.” And so, I love how your story … blows all that out of the water.

 

Rachel:

….

 

Angela:

One of the things, too, that I think happens is, for some people – and I’m curious if this happened for you – is that you get a clarity about your message, and it’s almost … as the – you’re – you’re writing it for the reader, but as you’re writing it for the reader you change and become more clear about what is important to you. Did you find there were ways that you changed and evolved through the process of writing the book?

 

Rachel:

Yeah. It was quite transformative in lots of ways, especially when it came to the end. I can’t believe how many fears and things came up for me, and I just thought, “Oh, my God, this isn’t good enough,” and the same process that people feel around, when they do videos, so I – it was different, though. It was a different thing, I felt – I felt so much lighter when it was written, it was amazing feeling when it was out, it was just this lightness that I felt, and I also think there’s a – there’s a lot of – I – I explained a lot of the challenges that I’ve had, and being able to release that on paper was almost – a healing, I guess, in itself, so as much as I was absolutely wanting to make a difference, I didn’t realize how it would also impact me and I feel lighter and it’s – yeah, it – it was just very healing, in a lot of ways, as well.

 

Angela:

I wonder if you can make a comparison between doing a book and – the process of doing a book and creating a video and maybe not – I’m not talking about … a Facebook mentions or Facebook live video, but something like the documentaries you’ve done, or a music video, how is the process similar and how is it different?

 

Rachel:

… It is very similar, when I do music videos, I often … works out to the song in organic way, I don’t wanna see what the words are, I want to listen to it over and over and over again and write the lyrics out myself. And I find that I just listen to the song a lot, that way, and I found that writing the book was similar, it was just streaming out from somewhere, and then it all … came together, and with a music video, it’s the same. You have a vision, and it – the clearer the vision is, the better, and then you go in and you – and you – the thing is, you also have an intention, so it’s good to have what you want the audience to feel at the end, which was a very similar process to the book, … how you want somebody to feel at the end –

 

Angela:

Mm-hm.

 

Rachel:

– what’s you – what intentions do you go in there with? So, there’s a – there’s so many similarities in that way. But it’s just – it’s more words, and then – video is visual, so you’re making images the same as in your mind, so they’re very similar, in a lot of ways.

 

Angela:

So, one of the biggest mistakes that first-time authors make in writing their book is, they start by writing without really thinking about what their goal is for their book, what their goal is for their reader, and then, what’ll happen is, they will often just stop and not know why and blame themselves. So, I wonder if you’ve seen something happen with video, where – where people just start by making videos and then they come back and say, “Well, these aren’t working,” … “I don’t think videos work for me.”

 

Rachel:

Yes.

 

Angela:

Do you ever hear of people … starting with video and then not really doing it right, so they’re not really evaluating it properly?

 

Rachel:

Oh, yes, absolutely. A lot of people, they – they go off excited, and then something happens and they don’t get the results they want, or something will happen, does that mean this not a strategy, or they haven’t been measuring results or their fears come up. And I just think that video – it just – it just works! So, it’s about sticking with it and finding – finding out what’s going on underneath, so that it helps you to then create again, and the longer that you …, the longer that you wait, … if you’re terrible and you just don’t get back on course – I know, for the documentary, that’s happened for me. I had a long pause, … from when I went and shot the information to when it’s going to come out, which is next year, because I really – yeah, I didn’t know if the message was gonna reach people, or they’d understand it, or if I get criticized, and it’s exactly the same, …. It – it’s the same process with the book or it’s the same process of … understanding videos that they’re marketing.

 

Angela:

And what’s your message to people, somebody who is maybe – tried video but they – … they can’t figure out how to make it work for themselves. Wha – what’s the message that you have for them?

 

Rachel:

I think it’s important to have a strategy and really understand why you’re making videos. It – you – people just make videos because because they’re told to make videos, they don’t really think about, “Okay, is it … to get more clients? Is it to leverage our brand, is it to grow my business?” Is it just, “I wanna be famous, I wanna be Youtuber?” … it’s – really depends on your goal, and that’s the number one thing you wanna get clear on, is, what are you doing video for? Not just because it’s popular and people tell you to do it, but what, fundamentally, is the core reason that you wanted to make it? And most of the time, it’s to grow a business, or to leverage themselves, or to be famous. There’s a couple there that want – that wanna be Youtube sensations, so – and whatever reason that is, that’s important to know that, so, then, you can go, “Right. ‘Course. I’m gonna do a thousand videos for Youtube and get subscribers,” or whatever you wanna do, or create a video challenge – you know what I mean? Does that make sense?

 

Angela:

Yeah, I know it’s total – I think that’s great advice. And the – it’s – and it’s very similar with – it’s very similar with the book, it’s much easier to write if you know why you’re doing it. There are lots of different types of books out there, and lots of ways to write a book.

 

Rachel:

Yes. Yup. Exactly.

 

Angela:

So, how – how has having a book fit into your business? When do you find – what do you find to be some of the best things that have come out of having a book, and how has it helped with your business, or changed your business in any way?

 

Rachel:

It’s – it’s been – it – there’s something is – there’s an inner confidence and happiness in having a book and I didn’t realize, it’s – it’s just – you feel an inner confidence when it comes out. What it’s done is, it’s just helped people, when somebody is starting out, or they’re not ready to work as often, I find and I – I send them a link, or I give them a link and say, “Look, this is the perfect starting place for you. It’s a companion, I’m by your side,” and people often say that it is like having a mentor sitting with them and they really connect with me through my stories. And the clients that we have that’s – that read the book, they just feel – they just feel a lot more of a connection, and sometimes I find it hard to put into words about the things that I’ve done, so it gives them another level to me, because often, when we’re talking, I’m focused on them, so they’re not really hearing my story, but in this case, having the story and/or the lessons tied in is – just helps them understand me as well. So, one of the freaky things a client was telling me the other day was that she almost heard – heard her guide – guided her to buy the book at – she woke up at 3:33 and – in the morning, and she just said, “I never look at my Kindle, and all of a sudden, on Amazon, there was the book, and I just – I was guided by the book, and then, it changed my life, and I’m just … so glad I did that,” and I just went, “Oh, my God, ….”

 

Angela:

Oh, I love that story! That’s amazing!

 

Rachel:

Yeah! I – and – I just … – I get stories like that, where people are guided often to do video nets, and they buy the book and they just – it’s more than they expect, so it’s been really, really special.

 

Angela:

That’s totally awesome. So, what do you think is the reason you were able to finish this, so many people want to write a book, and they have an idea, and then it never gets done. I’m sure that’s true about films, too, but why do you think you were able to finish, this time?

 

Rachel:

It was a structure and support. I really loved your – the way that you structured it, it really helped me, and I guess I chose “Three Days to Done” because I just wanted to be surrounded by the support and guidance to – to – to work me through that hard part of getting it out, and then, … once it’s – it’s – … – people say it’s like having a baby.

 

Angela:

Mm-hm.

 

Rachel:

You’re in there for three days, and you’re birthing this book, and then – and then, there’s a side of it, you’ve got the support that’s going to help you craft it into the magic that it is, so, for me, it was really the structure that helped me, and having support, … I think that, whatever you – … you look at the Olympics for a moment. Every single athlete there has a coach. Every single person has somebody that can help them to rise up, to hold the space for where they’re going to be, and even if they don’t really believe it themselves, there’s somebody holding you, or holding the space for where they see you growing. And that – having that somebody having that belief in you, is also, I find, really powerful.

 

Angela:

Hmm, I love that, I feel exactly the same way. All right, let’s talk a little bit about Girl Director, your company, girldirector.tv, for those of you who wanna check out this site.

 

Rachel:

Uh-huh.

 

Angela:

How can people work with you, what are some of the programs or services that you’re offering?

 

Rachel:

Okay. Well, there’s a few ways people can work with us. There’s lots of cool, free things on our website and we’ve got a free “Camera Confidence” challenge coming up, that’s a seven-day camera confidence program, so those of you who are struggling with their fears, we get amazing results in seven days, so if you want to join that, or if you’re interested and you – you’re feeling really, really stuck around your confidence, then I definitely recommend messaging me or – or come on, ‘cause we’re doing that in the next month, and there are live exercises that you do in twenty-four hours. The other way is to – to reach out, there’s an application form, we – we wanna talk to you and find out what your goals are, and as – we really only have one way we work, and it’s really about finding out, really, what you wanna do, and if we can help you, and then having a m – a map of, “Okay, these are the kind of videos you wanna create, this is how you wanna leverage, this is how you wanna grow,” and then we work together, so yeah.

 

Angela:

I love that. And – and we mentioned – we mentioned that you have a business partner, so we should tell people a little bit about your business partner, in case they reach out and get that one.

 

Rachel:

Well, my Michael is my life partner as well, and I’m so grateful that we work together in the business, and – so, that’s Michael, and he – he – yeah, we’ve been working together, we’ve been life partners for thirteen years and in the business for about four years, and it’s just been amazing. Since we’ve been working together, he is – he thinks differently from me, so … – he checks my grammar for me, he does the techie side ….

 

Angela:

Yin and yang, baby!

 

Rachel:

It is! It works so well, and I’m very grateful for … what was graded and just – he also is the techie side and has a lot of patience with that, where I’m … “Oh, I just want it to work,” ….

 

Angela:

I love that. So, Rachel Dunn is the author of Better Videos, you can find her book on Amazon, maybe you will also be moved by spirit to purchase it. Better Videos: Stand Out. Be Seen. Create Clients, you can find out about her and her business at girldirector.tv, thanks for being here today!

 

Rachel:

Thank you so much for having me, and yeah, get out there and write that book!

 

Angela:

All right, we’ll be back – dot next time on Book Journeys Radio.